Trump's VP announcement could come as early as this week

Former President Donald Trump could announce his vice presidential pick as early as this week, possibly ahead of Thursday’s debate, according to four people familiar with the situation.

Trump has said publicly that he intends to announce his pick shortly before, or at, the Republican convention next month.

But there have been high-level discussions in recent days within the Trump campaign about moving that timeline up and making a splash sooner, according to these sources, who requested anonymity to speak frankly.

The sources also cautioned that the timing is not yet final, and the decision could still happen closer to the convention.

After this story published, Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita tweeted, “yes could come as soon as today …or …sometime in mid july !!”

Trump will be in Atlanta on Thursday for his first 2024 debate against President Joe Biden. He has a rally scheduled Friday in Virginia.

The planning comes less than a month before the Republican National Convention, which is set to begin July 15 in Milwaukee. Four days prior, Trump is due to be sentenced for his conviction in New York on 34 counts of falsifying business documents related to hush money payments to cover up a sexual encounter with adult film star Stormy Daniels, an affair he has denied occurred.

That gives him a limited window in which to introduce his running mate to the public.

NBC News reported Friday that North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Ohio Sen. JD Vance and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were still high on the list of potential VP picks.

Trump said over the weekend that he knows whom he will choose and that his running mate would be present for the debate, which will be hosted by CNN in Atlanta. Rubio, Vance and Burgum are all expected to be in town for the debate.

People familiar with discussions about a pre-debate announcement had differing views about Trump’s leanings. One said he is eager to fill his ticket before he squares off with Biden. Another source said he would like the opportunity to throw a curveball to distract Biden before they meet but understands that such a move could create logistical and political complications.

“Early last week, there was a definitive shift away from an announcement timed with the start of the convention,” said a third person familiar with the planning.

Trump’s official spokespeople have regularly tamped down speculation about the timing of an announcement and the identity of Trump’s running mate, and they did so again Tuesday.

“As President Trump has said himself, the top criteria in selecting a vice president is a strong leader who will make a great president for eight years after his next four year term concludes,” Trump spokesman Brian Hughes said. “But anyone telling you they know who or when President Trump will choose his VP is lying unless that person is named Donald J. Trump.”

Burgum side-stepped a question from NBC News Tuesday about whether he planned to speak with Trump before the debate.

“Looking forward to the debate for sure,” he said. “We’ll be in Atlanta.”

He ignored a follow-up question about whether he has talked with Trump about the VP job this week.

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